Comics / Comic Reviews / Marvel Comics

Uncanny X-Men #540


By Andy Frisk
July 9, 2011 - 22:24

Fear Itself, the current Marvel Comics summer crossover, finally makes it to the pages of Uncanny X-Men. The Juggernaut has one of the seven hammers of fear (or whatever they are) and is on his way to wipe out the “city of sin,” and of course its mutant hero protectors, The X-Men. Obviously, our heroes are in for quite a battle, and there'll be plenty of mayhem to come, but it is the little character developments and interactions that (as usual) powers the storytelling here. Scott Summers barely avoids an argument with the mayor of San Francisco when she suggests that the “chaos” erupting all across the US has avoided San Francisco thus far because, as “people are asking,” Scott made some kind of deal to keep the chaos at bay to “save his people.” Scott evades the question, not because he has done such a thing, but because he thinks the mayor might be guilty of “pandering to bigots” by even entertaining such a thought. Meanwhile, Kitty and Peter (Colossus) have a minor argument of their own over the current incarceration of Peter’s sister Illyana. Illyana nearly destroyed all of reality recently, and rightfully has the X-Men spooked. Illyana also excels at being spooky, and proves to be a master of it yet again here. Finally, Namor puts some serious moves on Emma Frost, who rebuffs him, but Namor’s parting words are ones that Emma might seriously consider…

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The little hints dropped recently by X-scribe Gillen that Scott and Emma, one of the longest standing X-couples of late, are headed for rocky times keep getting more and more obvious. Namor may be a pompous ass, but he makes a point that Emma might be right to consider. The X-Men saga is well known for its romantic/soap opera side, but the social consciousness of the overall X-Men mythos is what is most poignant about this group of characters, and is on full display during Scott and Mayor Sadie’s conversation. Sadie is not a bigot, but she is a representative of the people of San Francisco who, while highly progressive, still have their elements of fearful (or fear mongering) residents. To some, Sadie’s question has weight, to Scott it is pure and simple bigotry. Either way, the fear that the mutants residing just off the coast will eventually herald the destruction of the city is made manifest when the Asgardian hammer of fear wielding Juggernaut comes calling in order to wipe out “this degenerate city.” So, perhaps Scott’s leap to judgment that the people asking the questions are ALL bigots might be a bit of a knee jerk reaction. Some type of X-Men related destruction is headed their way. Maybe some of the concerned citizens have a point as well… Mayor Sadie’s questioning concern over Scott’s possible involvement in the making of any “deal” though, coming from her, IS out of place. She should know that Scott and company wouldn’t do such a thing…Gillen manages to craft an ideological debate that, while obviously (and rightly so) weighted on the progressive side of spectrum, isn’t necessarily clear cut or black and white. This is why X-Men stories are so great in the hands of a great writer. They provide their readers with so much to think about, and some of you thought that Uncanny X-Men was all romance and superhero fisticuffs…well, maybe just a few of you…

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The artistic team of Land, Leisten, and Ponsor continue to deliver solid, photo realistic inspired artwork. There isn’t much, if anything wrong with it in any serious way, but it reminds me a little too much of Daniel Acuna’s artwork, just with heavier inks. Their rendering of the fear hammer powered Juggernaut is impressive, as is Land’s excellent character body language and posturing. It’s all solid work, it just seems to not to really stand out much from the other books on the stands with the same art style. It is leaps and bounds better than a Rob Liefeld penciled Hawk and Dove though. (Okay, I had to get in one more cheap shot at the DCnU thing…I just couldn’t resist.)

Overall, while the whole Fear Itself crossover has its moments, once we get past these few required crossover issues and get into SCHISM, Uncanny X-Men is going to really be a must read, based on all we’ve seen about SCHISM thus far at least…    

Rating: 7.5 /10


Last Updated: May 19, 2020 - 12:25

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